ZIRCONIUM - URANIUM COMBUSTION STUDY
Final rept., 4 Dec 1961-3 Dec 1962
STANFORD RESEARCH INST MENLO PARK CA
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This investigation was designed to provide an experimental verification of the melting and oxidation behavior of fuel rod material of the type used in SNAP-2 and SNAP-10A auxiliary power reactors. Samples of zirconium-uranium alloy, both hydrided and unhydrided, were subjected to static conditions approximating re-entry trajectories. Heat flux and pressure conditions encountered during re-entry were selected to bracket ballistic parameter ranges of WC sub DA 20 to WC sub DA300 and altitude ranges of 400, 000 to 150,000 feet. An arc image furnace capable of delivering up to 900 BTU sq ft sec was used as a source of radiant flux. The results suggest that under these conditions no melting of the fuel rods is likely to occur. The material lost hydrogen and became almost completely oxidized. The resulting material, though mechanically weaker and more brittle than the starting material, was also extremely refractory owing to the high melting point of the zirconium oxide.
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Fission Reactor Materials
- Combustion and Ignition